Achieving healthy urban transport systems by 2030: the role of walking and cycling

This paper reports on research undertaken as part of a recently completed 3 year UK research council funded project which sought to examine ways in which substantially more people might be encouraged to walk and cycle in the future and the steps needed to support such an increase. Walking and cycling can make a considerable contribution to sustainable transport goals, building healthier and more resilient communities and contributing to traffic and pollution reduction.

Three alternative visions are presented for the role of walking and cycling in urban areas in the UK for the year 2030 and a number of alternative pathways (in the form of storylines) showing how these visions might be achieved. Each vision presents a view of an ‘imaginary’ urban area where walking and cycling are considerably more important than at present. The accompanying pathways are made up of three different types of storyline, operating at different scales.

Macro-storylines concern those developments happening in the world that, whilst ‘exogenous’ to the transport system, have direct impacts on the system. Meso-storylines describe accompanying developments within the transport system covering the ‘aggregate reactions’ (on a national level) of organisations and trip-makers to events and trends described in the macro-storylines.

Micro-storylines concern how individual local authorities might act (‘autonomously’) in response to the contexts provided by macro- and meso-storylines, taking into account factors relevant to their particular cities. The micro-storylines described in the paper have been developed through a number of ‘city-specific’ expert workshops, whose overall aim has been to understand how the generic theoretically-based visions and storylines may be locally contextualised and adjusted to meet the needs and requirements of ‘real’ places. The paper concludes with thoughts on how cities might develop and incorporate large scale change over relatively long periods of time to promote sustainable and healthy living.

Dr Miles Tight, Senior Lecturer, Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds, UK

The 5th Healthy Cities: Working Together to Achieve Liveable Cities Conference
6th to 8th of June 2012 Geelong,  Victoria,

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One response to “Achieving healthy urban transport systems by 2030: the role of walking and cycling

  1. Pingback: Sustainable Cities for All | Healthy Cities Blog

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